In this American English pronunciation video we're going to talk about ending voiced versus unvoiced consonants in American English we have voiced and unvoiced sounds all vowels are voiced all diphthongs are voiced consonants can be either voiced or unvoiced unvoiced consonants are made just with air no sound from the vocal cords for example .

Shh voiced consonants do have voice in them like mmm Shh you there are lots of consonant pairs where the mouth position is the same and one is voiced the other is unvoiced for example every once in a while I'll get a .

Comment on a video asking about the pronunciation of these paired consonants at the end of a word these come from people with a good ear that pay attention to what they hear mostly they say I don't hear a voiced consonant I hear an unvoiced consonant there right we're going to get into a topic here that is quite advanced it deals with .

Subtle differences of sound let's take for example the word flowers in IPA we spell that like this the ending consonant is the Z sound which is voiced but actually that kind of sounds like an S at the end doesn't it flowers a really weak light s it doesn't have a strong s flowers that's not correct but it also doesn't have a strong Z flowers flowers .

It actually has a very weak s several years ago I was reading an old pronunciation book and it said how in these voiced/unvoiced pairs the unvoiced is strong and the voiced is weak I didn't really know what that meant until I started thinking about ending consonants these ending consonants are so weak that we take the voice out of .

Them and they end up sounding like weak unvoiced sounds so the word is not flowers or flowers but flowers a weak unvoiced consonant let's look at a few more words dive it's really a very weak F it's not dive or dice but dive garage it's a very weak unvoiced sound it's not garage or garage but garage badge very weak unvoiced sound not batch or .

Badge but badge weakening these ending voiced consonants can help you say the words more easily and more naturally let's study the word badge a little further and compare it with batch badge batch the ending of badge is weak badge the ending of batch is stronger batch that's not the only difference the unvoiced ending also makes the vowel a .

Little bit shorter badge batch they don't sound quite the same first of all the ending of batch is stronger badge batch which instead of also the vowel is longer on the word badge vowels are a little longer before voiced endings in these kinds of minimal pairs so you have two clues to help you figure out which word it is the strength of the ending .

And the length of the vowel but there is a time when the week ending gets stronger do you know when that is it's when we link it to a word that begins with a vowel or diphthong in a consonant to vowel linked it helps to think of the ending consonant as beginning the next word so if you think of it as a beginning consonant then it gets much .

Stronger let's go back to the word flowers and put it in a phrase flowers on the table flowers on flowers on now I'm hearing a little bit more of a clearer Z sound Jean Jean is on flowers on it's stronger than when the word was at the end of a sentence I love flowers flowers on so if the ending week voiced consonant links into a vowel it's not .

Really that weak anymore this topic was pretty advanced so if you don't understand don't worry if you do think of lightening ending voiced consonants and see if that helps make the pronunciation of these words easier if there's a word or phrase you'd like help pronouncing please put it in the comments below also I'm very excited to .

Tell you that my book is now on sale if you liked this video there's a lot more to learn about American English pronunciation and my book will help you step by step you can get it by clicking here or in the description below that's it and thanks so much for using Rachel's English
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